Breaking: Your unemployed spouse is basically killing you

arguing at work

No, that is not where you left the effing stapler, OKAY?!

Have you found yourself more overloaded at work than usual, arguing with co-workers more often, or feeling a general dissatisfaction with the work you’re producing? You could maybe chalk it up your terrible boss, or even more terrible coworkers, or even MORE terrible assignments. But do you also happen to have a laid-off partner? Well then, the Journal of Applied Psychology suggests that’s where the real blame belongs. Continue reading

Stop Thinking You’re A Jobless Lowlife

couch potato

This photo has been doctored with sepia undertones to mask the identity of this poor, fine-grade specimen of unemployed male.

Unemployed of the world unite: You have nothing to lose but your pot belly!

There is no greater blow to your self-esteem than losing your job. Thanks to all of that menacing free time, you’re more likely to ruminate on how shitty your life is going, how much your wife hates you now, and what a shell of a man you’ve become. (I imagine women on the other hand, like myself, just weep and eat themselves fat while updating their resumes). Clinical Professor of Psychology Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D points out a toxic thread among the unemployed: self-loathing.

British psychologists Adrian Wells and Costas Papageorgiou have found that people who ruminate actually think that they will figure things out, solve a problem and avoid making the same mistake in the future. Of course, there may be some truth that ruminating may “give you closure” or lead to solutions—but excessive rumination simply makes you more depressed.

As it turns out, sulking is not going to lead you to any kind of productive revelation that will magically transform you into a resume-churning member of society by morning.

As Yale psychologist Susan Nolen-Hoeksema has shown, rumination leads to depression and keeps you depressed. People who ruminate withdraw from the real world, often isolating themselves from other people. When you ruminate you are almost always focused on something negative—what is going on in your head. It adds to your sense of helplessness and makes you feel worse.

See the helpful tips from the PhD, who’s conveniently pimping out his new book on depression at Psychology Today, after the jump.

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Your career path is actually a jungle gym

This is how people look for jobs nowadays.

This is how people find jobs nowadays.

One of the best parts about being unemployed is sharing inspiring emails with the rest of your jobless cohorts. Today’s mailbox gem comes in the form of an online pep talk.

First things first: HR Consultant Peter Weddle tells us over and over: “You are not a failure. You are not a loser or a deadbeat or a flop.” Thanks, Peter! I’ll be sure to let my parents know.

Turns out, the reason we are full of self-loathing is because of two silly misconceptions.

1) There is no one climbing a career ladder nowadays. Instead, we’re all hovering dangerously over a jungle gym.

As you may recall from your schoolyard days, the jungle gym had two alluring qualities. First, you got to pick your own way forward–there was no teacher and today there is no employer telling you where to go. And second, sometimes you might move straight up, but occasionally you would move from side-to-side and even down and around to get where you were going. There was no discredit, disgrace or dishonor in the path you picked, because (a) everyone got to pick their own way and (b) if you kept your eye on your goal, you would eventually get there. The same is true with your career.

This metaphor is blowing my mind. But mainly, I wish I knew how to interpret what a side-to-side entry-level job looks like.

2) Wonder why your proofread, perfect, even goddammed perfumed resume isn’t cutting it? Weddle says your past experience and skills don’t mean anything anymore.

You have to reinvent yourself even as you are looking for a job. Update your skill set or add a new skill that will enable you to apply what you can already do in a broader set of circumstances. Enroll in an academic or training program or take a course from your professional association, and then, add that fact to your resume. Such a notation demonstrates that (a) you understand the importance of always getting better in today’s workplace and (b) you take personal responsibility for doing so. Those two attributes will help to set you apart in the job market and restart your career.

Hm. I wonder how Rabid Gossip Girl Fan will look in my skills section.

“So. What do you do?”

The worst part about being unemployed is not dealing with the daily pangs of self-loathing and regret. It’s having to explain to other people why someone as fabulous as you is incapable of getting hired.

Monday night was the break-fast after Yom Kippur – the day of atonement (and starving).  It was also the night I met my boyfriend’s family for the first time.

Explaining what a freelance web producer does is a bit…wordy. As much as I would love to sound like a freeloading deadbeat to the people who raised my (employed) bf, I thought maybe it’d be best to come prepared with some answers. And so, I devised some fail-proof strategies.

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